Assemblies could do better with effective financial decentralization – Regional Minister

Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, at the weekend urged government to put more emphasis on the implementation of the financial decentralization concept of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) to speed up their development.

He explained that said financial decentralization would generate interest in the people to participate effectively in the mobilization of revenue because they would be directly involved in the discharge of financial assignments.

Mr. Woyongo said this at the first composite budget hearing of the Garu-Tempane District Assembly for 2011, held at Garu to ensure that MMDAS effectively make good use of their by-laws on sanitation.

He expressed worry about the way people would have to travel far to Accra to have their financial problems solved and said financial decentralizationb would have enabled the various departments to handle finance at the District level so that these inconveniencies would become a thing of the past.

Mr. Woyongo urged MMDAS to make good use of their by-laws, especially those on sanitation because it could become another avenue for mobilizing revenue for the Assemblies. He explained that if the assemblies were able to authorize waste management agencies to levy those who generate waste in their jurisdiction, they could make revenue out of it.

The Regional Minister called on heads of decentralized departments to collaborate with central government to eliminate ghost names in the government pay role in order to allow government to generate sufficient funds to pay public service workers.

The District Chief Executive, Mr. David Adams Adakurugu who presented the budget noted that the Assembly had improved on its human resource capacity by supporting individuals in education and health, and empowered about 80 percent of the population economically.

Mr. Adakurugu mentioned that the Assembly had empowered farmers by improving their capacity on new agricultural practices in the district and its environs to promote food security.  He indicated that the assembly had projected the economic sector by promoting domestic trade which included the building of sheds in local markets in the District.

Mr. Adakurugu disclosed that the Assembly was taking steps to sponsor brilliant but needy students, as well as increase the school feeding programme from five to 10 schools next year.

The DCE said the Assembly intended to build more social infrastructure such as schools, community centres, and roads among other facilities to improve the quality of life of the people in the area. He cited electricity as a major tool for development and said the Assembly was taking steps to ensure that the area was connected to the national power grid to promote the socio-economic development of the area.

Mr. Adakurugu noted that to help promote democracy, the Assembly was empowering the district sub-structures which include the Area Councils and Unit Committees to allow the people at the grassroots to participate effectively in the Assembly’s decision-making process.

Source: GNA

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